"In Laborem Fidei"

The people of Calinog, together with the entire Catholic Church in the Philippines, celebrated one of the most significant feast in our country: The Feast of the Sto. Niño. On this day also, the parish launched the Missio Ad Gentes, answering the call of our Lord to spread the good news to all nations. We give thanks to the Father for his gift to our civilization 500 years ago when Catholic missionaries, together with the Spanish Expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan, landed in Limasawa and brought to us the light of the Roman Catholic Faith. Upon celebrating a mass in Cebu, the Spanish navigators erected a cross and gifted Rajah Humabon of Cebu an icon of the Child Jesus. Today, the parishioners welcomed the entry of the Cross and the image of the Sto. Niño into the church, symbolizing the arrival of our Faith in 1521. Our parish priest, Rev. Msgr. Efren Condino led the solemn rites before the mass. Members of the Calinog Parish Youth Ministry – Altar Servers animated the song “Gifted to Give” which is the official theme song of Missio Ad Gentes. They wore Suguidanon costumes reflecting the culture and tradition innate in Calinog since time immemorial. Rev. Fr. Randy Zabala, our parochial vicar, reminded us during his homily to bear in mind the gifts of the arrival of our faith five hundred years ago and to ensure that we fulfill our primordial role as Christians: to live a life of mission in spreading the good news to all. For we know that our Faith is a candle that must not be kept, rather it is for everyone to see in order for all of us to feel the warmth of God’s redeeming love. Our “estrella del norte” as Christians is to put aside our own selves and dedicate our lives to serve the will of the Father. To spread the good news to the peripheries is a mission we have recieved from the moment of our Baptism as adopted children of God through of Lord Jesus Christ. With our hands held high, we Calinognons pray to the Father to continue to bless our municipality and protect us during this pendemic as we continue to say: Viva Señor Santo Niño, Viva!

By EJ Celis

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